“She should be here”: York Co. family keeping daughter’s memory alive two years after killed in crash by drunk driver

Two years ago, a crash involving a drunk driver led to the deaths of a 15 and 16-year-old girl in York County.
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Two years ago, a crash involving a drunk driver led to the deaths of a 15 and 16-year-old girl in York County.

On July 27, 2019, 15-year-old Ashton Dickey and 16-year-old Amara Stagg were killed when 29-year-old Wesley Blain hit them head-on on McConnells Highway.

Jim and Dawn Dickey want their daughter Ashton to be remembered as the kind, joyful, friendly young woman she was.

In her memory, they are asking that everyone do a random act of kindness this week because they say it was the kind of thing she did every day before her life was cut short.

The campaign is called Choose Kind, supported by her high school St. Anne’s Catholic School.

You can also donate to the Ashton Dickey Memorial Scholarship.

“Ashton and Amara, and Amara’s sister Cami, were on their way back home to Amara’s house when they were struck head-on by a drunk driver,” Dawn Dickey, Ashton’s mother, told WBTV. “Amara was killed on scene and then Ashton survived to be lifeflighted and then died at the hospital.”

The crash report shows the driver who hit her, 29-year-old Wesley Blain, had a blood alcohol content of .2, which is more than twice the legal limit.

The report also says Blain hit another vehicle a few minutes before hitting the car Ashton was driving.

“It enrages me,” Dawn said. “She should be here. He took no personal responsibility.”

While it won’t bring her back, her parents want Ashton’s death certificate to share the full story.

Because she died in a Charlotte hospital, the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner filled out her death certificate.

“Because the man who killed Ashton died as well, this is the only way to get some type of closure or justice is to be listed as killed by an impaired driver,” Dawn said.

Despite their requests to the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner, they say he will not add the five words they desperately want to see, ‘due to an impaired driver.’

Right now, the causes of death are listed as ‘blunt-force head and neck trauma’ and ‘motor vehicle collision.’

An attorney for the Dickey family, as well as the victim services coordinator of Mothers Against Drunk Driving also reached out to the examiner, but their requests were denied.

Meanwhile, they say the death certificate for Amara Stagg, does include ‘due to an impaired driver’ in the cause section. She died on the scene in South Carolina, meaning the York County Medical Examiner handled her certificate.

“The thing that is like a trigger for us is if someone says Ashton was killed in an accident,” Jim Dickey, Ashton’s father, said. “It was not. And the death certificate should reflect that.”

They are not giving up, as they continue to find new ways to share her legacy.

“She would just walk up to anyone and talk to them and bring a smile to their face,” Jim said. “That’s what she loved to do. So I want people to remember that about her. So if people do the choose kindness activities any time of the year, that will make me happy.”

The parents do not want anyone else to go through the pain they are experiencing.

They are begging that anyone who drinks, calls a rideshare or a friend, instead of getting behind the wheel.

WBTV reached out to the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s office for a comment regarding the death certificate, but did not get a response.

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